RELEASE DAY LAUNCH: REVIEW AND EXCERPT: ENVY by Rachel Van Dyken

From New York Times Bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken, comes ENVY, a new novella in her Eagle Elite Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights!

Be sure to grab your copy today!

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken comes a new story in her Eagle Elite series…

Every family has rules, the mafia just has more….
Do not speak to the bosses unless spoken to.
Do not make eye contact unless you want to die.
And above all else, do not fall in love.
Renee Cassani’s future is set.
Her betrothal is set.
Her life, after nannying for the five families for the summer, is set
Somebody should have told Vic Colezan that.
He’s a man who doesn’t take no for an answer.
And he only wants one thing.
Her.
Somebody should have told Renee that her bodyguard needed as much discipline as the kids she was nannying.
Good thing Vic has a firm hand.

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My Review

I have been a part of Rachel Van Dyken’s Eagle Elite series since it began, and as it’s continued,  I’ve witnessed these complicated men come into their own, protecting their families, fighting their enemies, and falling in love regardless of the complications it would bring to their lives. I’ve also seen them forced to make decisions that would irrevocably change their lives and the lives of those they love.

Needless to say, being a member of the Mafia and for some of them the head of their families has meant making sacrifices and losing parts of their humanity the deeper they dive into the darkness that surrounds them. There’s so much at stake for each of them and that fact has turned them into much different men than the ones Van Dyken introduced readers to in the first book of the series.

In ENVY, Eagle Elite Book 9.5, Van Dyken illustrates the power that Nixon, Chase, Tex, and Phoenix wield as well as how far they’ll go to keep their families safe, their secrets hidden, and their enemies at bay, which is exactly why Nixon’s cousin,

Vic Colezan Abandonato’s focus must be on point at all times with no distractions because he’s the mafia assassin who protects all of the families; it’s his duty…it’s his vow to the families…it’s his singular purpose, which is both his pledge and his curse, especially when a certain nanny…an off-limits Mafia princess brings light into his darkened existence and makes him feel more human despite his monstrous acts.

I’ve always understood that the Mafia world follows its own rules…that right and wrong aren’t the things that truly matter and that someone’s word is a binding contract, but even with that knowledge, the fact that Vic lives only for the families and gets nothing for himself doesn’t sit well with me and it also makes me see Nixon in a new light – one that disturbs me a bit but also proves how singularly focused he is in protecting what’s his.

Renee Cassani is an anomaly in this dark, dangerous, and deadly environment. She wants nothing to do with this life, but it’s clear, especially by what’s being hidden from her, that she doesn’t have a choice. She doesn’t think she matters in the big picture, but that’s only because information has deliberately withheld supposedly for her own protection, but once the details are revealed, I question who really gained from her status.

There is definitely a forbidden aspect to Vic and Renee’s story. She’s supposed to be hands-off, especially for the family’s henchman. He’s the exact opposite of what Renee wants in life, but for some reason, she can’t condemn him and finds herself wanting a killer with every part of her heart and soul.

I really enjoyed ENVY; it definitely allowed me to form new opinions on the some of the characters and there’s one new character, in particular, that intrigues me. The fact that Chase is more present in this novella and even pushes Vic in some respects made me incredibly happy and even though Nixon tried to control the entire situation, what’s made abundantly clear is that love surpasses all things – even a controlling Mafia bastard.

4.5 Poison Apples

Excerpt

I tried not to judge.

It was hard.

They were mafia bosses—I got it.

Or at least I thought I understood it since I had grown up around it. But my upbringing wasn’t as severe. My dad was a Nicolasi and always kept things quiet around us. It wasn’t until I was twelve that I realized it wasn’t normal for us to make as much money as we did through two jewelry stores and five laundromats.

I wrongly assumed that every business owner with a lot of cash drove a bulletproof Mercedes to protect their family. The older I got, the more horrified I became of the life my father lived, the life he forced us to live, and the complete unrest I felt every time I closed my eyes and prayed for him to come home.

He was a made man.

One of the best in the family, which meant Phoenix trusted him, which in turn meant he trusted me to watch his little boy. And every time Phoenix looked at his phone I wondered if it was my dad texting, if he was alive, if he was okay. He’d been gone for a month. We hadn’t heard from him except for a few “hey, I’m alive” texts.

I hated this life.

And I wanted out.

“Renee.” Nixon leaned down and touched my shoulder. “Are you okay?”

I stilled.

Remembered not to look directly into his eyes and forced a smile. “I’m just tired, you know how it is.”

“Kids do that to a person,” Phoenix piped in, finally sheathing the knives he’d apparently pulled out in the last few seconds that I’d been thinking about my dad. “We need to leave in five.”

Nixon stood.

I looked away.

I had to.

It made me sick to my stomach the blood these men had on their hands and the way they so casually talked about killing as if they were discussing the latest episode of This Is Us.

I forced a smile at Serena and Junior just as the front door swung open, nearly coming off its hinges.

There he stood.

My nightmare.

Vic Corazon Abandonato.

In all his gory glory.

Tight black pants.

Tight black shirt.

Enough guns strapped to him to win an all-out war.

And no smile.

The man never smiled. It wasn’t in his makeup to smile. The one time he smiled was at Chase, and I think it was just a happy accident because Chase looked as shocked as the rest of the group did. I glanced away, again making sure I wasn’t drawing attention to myself, and fed the kids.

Vic was a silent killer. I imagined that people didn’t even know they were dying until they saw the blood running like a river from their chests.

I shivered.

That’s what assassins for the mafia did. They weren’t made men, they weren’t in line for boss. They did the dirty work-and they took the fall for it. They had one job. Protect the family at all costs.

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About Rachel Van Dyken

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

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